Long Read(s): Jared Kushner, the Half-Bright Prince

BettyC posted about some of Kushner’s most glaring conflicts earlier. As with every comic-book crime cartel magnate, there’s a varied if mostly banal JKush backstory. From the NYTimes article:

On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The table was laden with Chinese delicacies and $2,100 bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild. At one end sat Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of the Waldorf’s owner, Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial behemoth with estimated assets of $285 billion and an ownership structure shrouded in mystery. Close by sat Jared Kushner, a major New York real estate investor whose father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, had just been elected president of the United States.

It was a mutually auspicious moment.

Mr. Wu and Mr. Kushner — who is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and is one of his closest advisers — were nearing agreement on a joint venture in Manhattan: the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, the fading crown jewel of the Kushner family real-estate empire. Anbang, which has close ties to the Chinese state, has seen its aggressive efforts to buy up hotels in the United States slowed amid concerns raised by Obama administration officials who review foreign investments for national security risk.

Now, according to two people with knowledge of the get-together, Mr. Wu toasted Mr. Trump and declared his desire to meet the president-elect, whose ascension, he was sure, would be good for global business.

Unlike the Trump Organization, which has shifted its focus from acquisition to branding of the Trump name, the Kushner family business, led by Mr. Kushner, is a major real estate investor across the New York area and beyond. The company has participated in roughly $7 billion in acquisitions in the last decade, many of them backed by opaque foreign money, as well as financial institutions Mr. Kushner’s father-in-law will soon have a hand in regulating…

Important new cover story at NYMag by Andrew Rice, “The Young Trump – Jared Kushner is more like his father-in-law than anyone imagines”:

During the latter stages of the presidential race, when all the so-called smart people in politics and media were preparing to shunt Trump rudely from the stage, he relied on Kushner the most. “He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law,” the Times reported in a prematurely funereal dispatch on November 6. Two nights later, as Mr. Trump learned he would soon be President Trump, it was Kushner’s voice that was screening the calls to his suddenly all-important cell phone. When Trump paid his first postelection visit to the White House, Kushner accompanied him, taking photos of the Oval Office with his iPhone and strolling with President Obama’s chief of staff. Now he and Ivanka were preparing to move to Washington, where they reportedly are set to occupy a $5.6 million mansion with their three children. “I’m hoping that he’s our Valerie Jarrett,” says Kathy Wylde, the Partnership’s chief executive, “the last person to speak to the president on matters that are important to New York.”

Kushner’s influence appears to be one hard truth at the center of the transition’s chimerical swirl of intrigue. “I think the bottom line is he believes in Donald, and he believes in the opportunity to rethink the way our Executive branch conducts itself,” says Strauss Zelnick, a media investor who is close with Kushner and attended the Partnership event. Kushner has thrown himself into the role of recruiter, exploiting his network in the real-estate industry and finance. He’s gotten advice from everyone, even a rabbi he was close to at Harvard. Kushner’s business dealings, like Trump’s, involve numerous partners and lenders from around the globe, even immigrants investing via a controversial cash-for-visa program, and are likely to come under great scrutiny. He has spent much of the transition period trying to figure out how to remove himself from potential conflicts of interest. Trump seems unconcerned. Kushner flattered the Partnership audience by saying the president-elect was happy to be bringing so many billionaires to D.C., asking, “Who else to do you want to see cutting deals?”…

Throughout the campaign, the depth of Kushner’s commitment to Trump’s reactionary agenda was surrounded by a bit of what Henry Kissinger — a Kushner admirer — would call constructive ambiguity. He didn’t grant on-the-record interviews or give a speech expressing his beliefs at the Republican National Convention. His decision to leave behind his business, his prior political affiliations, and quite a few friendships in order to serve Trump remains mystifying to many people who thought they knew him. True, he had always been quick to champion Trump to his many detractors and expressed admiration for his knack for self-promotion and his impish ability to play the press for suckers. But Kushner never gave the impression that he had anything more than a grudging son-in-law’s level of tolerance for Trump’s more radical positions. Back when Trump was spinning birther conspiracy theories, which were lapped up by gullible Republicans, one person who talked to Kushner says he offered assurances that his father-in-law didn’t really believe that stuff.

Yet Trump and Kushner have more in common than surface appearances might suggest. They are both bridge-and-tunnel guys — Trump is from Queens, Kushner from Livingston, New Jersey — who made their names in Manhattan and lived through tumultuous periods of tabloid fire and financial adversity. As a developer, Trump took big risks in the 1980s and faced bankruptcy in the 1990s; Kushner took big risks before the 2008 financial crash and flirted with losing his family’s flagship building, 666 Fifth Avenue. Both came back. Kushner is often called “soft-spoken,” in contrast to his bombastic father-in-law, but people who have worked with him say that’s deceiving: His voice is just literally soft. His opinions are anything but deferential. “He’s very aggressive,” says Zelnick, who says that once Kushner makes up his mind, “it may look like he’s barreling down a path.” Above all, he and Trump share a clannish outlook on life, business, and politics. Trump prizes loyalty, especially when it flows upward, and no defender has been more steadfast during his turbulent struggle than Kushner. Neither forgets when he’s been wronged. They both appear to enjoy the metallic taste of payback, although of the two, Trump may be the more forgiving…

Thing is, while he’s hardly stupid, Jared Kushner seems to have a strong dose of overconfidence — as Ann Richards said about another fortunate son, “He was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple.” Last August, Lizzie Widdicombe, in the New Yorker:

Jared Kushner describes his father’s downfall as the defining event of his life. The man whom he idolized had become a source of humiliation and grief. But he also took Charlie’s view of the crisis: that his father had been a victim. In an interview with the real-estate trade paper the Real Deal, Charlie said, “I don’t believe God and my parents will ever forgive my brother and sister for instigating a criminal investigation and being cheerleaders for the government and putting their brother in jail because of jealousy, hatred and spite.”

The jail sentence interrupted Jared’s trajectory. He had attended Harvard, a circumstance that, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Daniel Golden described in “The Price of Admission,” may have been connected to a gift of $2.5 million that his parents pledged to the university, in 1998.

I overlapped with Kushner at Harvard, where he cut a noticeable figure. On a campus full of T-shirts and cargo shorts, he wore dress shirts and jeans from the then trendy label 7 for All Mankind. And he drove a Range Rover around campus. “He didn’t do it with a sense of humor,” one classmate recalled. “He did it, like, ‘I’m fucking rich.’ ”

As a freshman, Kushner joined the I.O.P.—the Institute of Politics, where future D.C. types hang out—but he drifted away after a semester, eventually becoming a member of the Fly, a “final” club (Harvard’s version of a fraternity). Still, he was not a party animal. His friend and roommate Nitin Saigal told me, “One of the first times I met him was sitting in Annenberg,” a campus dining hall. “Everyone was goofing around. He was reading Crain’s New York Business.” As a sideline to his classes, Kushner bought buildings in nearby Somerville, converted them into condominiums, and sold them, for a reported profit of more than twenty million dollars…

… In 2006, while his father was in prison, Jared bought, for ten million dollars, the Observer, a weekly paper founded by the investment banker Arthur Carter, which was known for its curdled take on the New York power élite. (I was an intern there in 2004.) The paper had a tiny circulation, and routinely lost money, but it was devoured by insiders in the industries it covered: media, politics, and real estate.

Kushner had a honeymoon period with the paper’s longtime editor, Peter Kaplan, but the partnership grew strained. “They had a tortured, love-hate relationship,” David Michaelis, a friend of Kaplan’s, said. “Peter was always saying to me, it was like asking your son for the car keys.” Kaplan resigned in 2009, and Jared went through a succession of editors; according to several of them, his opinion of the product—the articles themselves—ranged from lack of interest to disdain. One former editor said, “He hates reporters and the press. Viscerally.”

But the Observer gave Kushner a kind of access that money alone couldn’t. Soon after buying the paper, he had dinner with Rupert Murdoch, and asked for guidance. Thereafter, the two spoke on the phone several times a week. Bob Sommer, who was president of the Observer Media Group from 2007 to 2009, said that he became accustomed to hearing things like “Here’s Rupert’s business model,” “Rupert does it this way,” “We’re going to turn it into a profitable media business, and Rupert knows how to run a media business.” Kushner and Murdoch became friends, and Murdoch passed on books by such conservative thinkers as Charles Murray and Niall Ferguson. (After Murdoch and Wendi Deng divorced, in 2014, Kushner helped set him up with an architect for his bachelor pad.) The friendship might have had something to do with Kushner’s political awakening: readers of the Observer’s editorial page noticed a shift, from a Clinton-Cuomo-esque, centrist liberalism to a more conservative view, reminiscent of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. (The Kushner spokesperson said, “Jared is not involved in running the paper day-to-day.”) In turn, a former associate of Murdoch’s told me, “I think Jared’s been the key in getting Rupert to come around to the idea of a Trump Presidency.”…

From Esquire, last August, Vicky Ward on “Jared Kushner’s Second Act“:

… Jared’s zealous support for Trump’s presidential campaign can be explained in part by a sense of loyalty that has been trained in him since birth, one way in which he and Ivanka are perfectly matched. Both have been raised in hermetically sealed family units—nearly every day the adult Trump children have lunch with each other in Trump Tower—and taught never to question their parents’ narratives in public, no matter how troubling they may be. When Trump’s anti-immigrant comments caused a number of companies to sever their ties with his properties, Ivanka told a source who commiserated with her about the damage to the Trump brand, “It’s his money. My father’s entire life has been a dream come true. He has to follow this dream.”

But many people who have dealt with Jared in the past suspect that his embrace of Trump’s political posturings carries a strong whiff of pure ambition. “How many people get that close to a presidential race?” asks Michael Fascitelli, Vornado’s former CEO and president. “In the real estate industry? Nobody, right?” And even if Trump were to lose in November by a large margin, he will nevertheless walk away from the election having won the support of a third or more of the American electorate. Whether Trump wins or loses, his son-in-law will almost certainly have a seat at the table. Jared is not one to waste a chance, and it seems unlikely that he will squander the entree into national consciousness that Trump’s campaign has given him…

Part of the problem is that rich men’s sons can be easy marks for smarter… promoters. (Remember “Bush’s brain,” Karl Rove?) Kushner seems to have been the one responsible for introducing his father-in-law to Steve Bannon. Per the NYTimes, last November:

When Mr. Bannon was recently accused of anti-Semitism and of promoting white supremacist views and conspiracy theories, Mr. Kushner reassured the Trump team. He called Mr. Bannon a man of character and said the widespread criticism was a smear, according to a senior Republican official, speaking about private discussions on the condition of anonymity…

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

234 replies
  1. 1
    SenyorDave says:

    These people should all fucking DIAF. According to Kushner himself, the predator/child rapist-elect didn’t personally believe in the birther issue. So, to be clear, the soon-to be president actively pushed a racist narrative to further his political means. If we had a real media, they might even bother to cover that story. They might even ask KellyAnne Goebbels a question or two about it. And then when she lies for five minutes straight about it, Chuckles Toadie can all tell us what a good person she is.

    leshttps://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-didnt-really-believe-the-birther-conspiracy-he-was-pushing-son-in-law-reportedly-says-165840299.html

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Jared Kushner is a Kapo. As SenyorDave says above, all of them should be pushed in to a fire to die.

    We don’t have a real media. We have ratings driven infotainment parasites who pretend to broadcast “news”.

    My nym. Again and again. It appears to be the only way to change this.

  3. 3
    ed_finnerty says:

    KellyAnne Goebbels

    brilliant

  4. 4
    Bobby D says:

    @ed_finnerty: I’ve been going with KellyAnne Conlady

  5. 5
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    That Trump quote from 2014 should be plastered all over the news, not just in a lonely corner of Twitter. Poor Sarah Kendzior. It must suck to be ahead of your time.

  6. 6
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Kushner indispensable bc 1 of family must always be w him to keep track of what happens bc DJT can’t remember

    Not joking, I believe that

    I think Dana Houle’s assertion that he needs so many of his “family” members nearby at all times to keep his facts straight has to be true..but I’m suspecting it’s because Trump is impaired in some way, either by mental illness or early dementia.

    This is the only explanation for why his family needs to “protect” him: he simply cannot be trusted, and THEY don’t trust someone else to not take advantage of his weaknesses. Ivanka and Jared know that Bannon and Flynn and Kellyanne all have WAY too much sway over Daddy, and they know that unless they’re there to mitigate their influences, they’ll not only lose their entire fortunes, Donald and his team might start WWIII.

    I’d love to see more of the “Corrupt Media” dig into Trump’s mental health and cognitive functioning…

  7. 7
    gvg says:

    So Trump prizes loyalty above all (to him, not by him). Obviously that doesn’t mean to wives. I wonder if Kushner cheats on Ivanka and if he does, how that will impact the family dynamics.

    All the rest of it……I still don’t understand them, but I know they can’t be trusted. They just aren’t as smart as they think they are and have no wisdom.

  8. 8
    Spanky says:

    @gvg:

    I wonder if Kushner cheats on Ivanka and if he does, how that will impact the family dynamics.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if his FIL expects that sort of thing, ’cause that’s what guys like him do, and Jared is one.

    Now Ivanka and her mother, OTOH ….

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    So do we think the Trump sons hate him because Trump prefers him over his own sons? I do! :)

    Palace intrigue. Let’s speculate and make it into fake news, why don’t we?

  10. 10
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I love how by the use of the phrase “bridge and tunnel” the NY Mag makes Kushner some sort of hardscrabble wrong-side-of-the-tracks make-good story instead of Patrick Bateman.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    @gvg: An analysis I read stated that Trump views his wives more like possessions than like family members. You look at Melania and it seems as if she is aware of the difference. At any rate, no one voted for Jared Kushner, and voters are not loyal to him. His missteps or overreaching can themselves become the basis for opposing Trump. I think it likely that Trump cannot function without a crutch like Kushner.

  12. 12
    SRW1 says:

    Congratulations to Adam Silverman. His hunch that Monika Crowley’s propensity to plagiarize meant that she likely may have assembled her PhD thesis by copying without attribution appears to be spot on.

  13. 13
    Lee says:

    This family is going to make billions in wealth from Trump being President.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    It would be nice if some enterprising media outlet would dig into Kushner’s qualifications, now that he’ll be handling “the Middle East,” government operations and trade deals. We know his father bought the son’s way into NYU and Harvard and that Kushner took over the family business when the father was jailed for corruption. To echo Kay’s comments from an earlier thread, has he ever had a real job — one a person can’t walk away from for two years without being replaced? Has he ever been hired by someone who was not a relative?

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    This is picking the smallest of nits, but

    as Ann Richards said about another fortunate son, “He was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple.”

    is a misattribution:

    Fast forward to the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Dubya’s father, George Bush Sr. was the Republican candidate running for president. Among the Dem convention’s high points was then Texas Agricultural Commissioner Jim Hightower’s fiery speech which included him saying that George Bush Sr. was a person who was “born on third base [who] thought he had hit a triple.”

    Source

    (Ann Richards came up with the equally devastating and memorable line “Poor George [H. W. Bush]…. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”)

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    About six months ago, an older friend of mine was looking to purchase an apartment in Williamsburg as an investment, with the ultimate plan of living in it when he and his wife retire. The apartments he was looking at was a new development built by Kushner’s company. When told that, he ran from the development as fast as his middle aged legs to carry him. Kushner is a disgrace, I wouldn’t knowingly put a penny in his pocket and thankfully, my friend felt the same way.

  17. 17
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Bobby D:

    I’ve been using KellyAnne Riefenstahl.

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    This is picking the smallest of nits

    Hey, what are we here for, if not that?

  19. 19
    Pogonip says:

    Funny how all these stupid people managed to figure out how to game the electoral college in order to defeat the smartest woman ever and her infallible ADA program.

    I’m not telling you to stop patting yourselves on the back altogether, because I know it’s fun. I am telling you that unless you want another 20 years of this, Democrats, the only realistic potential opposition at this point, had better spend less time backpatting and more time on strategy. And you should always assume your opponent is smarter than you. That way the only surprises you get are pleasant ones.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    This is ridiculous.

    Utterly ridiculous.

    I keep on imagining President Obama trying to install Craig Robinson or his sister’s husband into a position of power in his White House.

    sorry…I had to stop because I was doubled over with laughter at the preposterousness of it all.

    And, the phucking bullshyt of him not taking a salary?

    Don’t get me started on that obvious corruption.

  21. 21
    randy khan says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Bridge and tunnel” is a Manhattan epithet for people who aren’t cool enough. It has nothing to do with money. It’s not even nasty so much as utterly dismissive.

  22. 22
    hovercraft says:

    @SenyorDave:

    So, to be clear, the soon-to be president actively pushed a racist narrative to further his political means.

    He may not have believed all of the convoluted conspiracy theory per se, but he is a racist. I think he believes that Obama got into and though the Ivy League schools because of affirmative action. He was intimately involved in his fathers housing discrimination, and he CHOSE to inject himself into the case of the Central Park Five, and still to this day, in spite of the real perpetuators confession, says they are guilty. So yes he exploited birthirism, but he fully supports the sentiment behind it, which is that a back man as president is not cannot be legitimate.

  23. 23
    Calouste says:

    @Lee: I don’t think they will settle for mere billions.

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ed_finnerty:

    KellyAnne Goebbels

    brilliant

    And I love “Elektra” for daughter dearest. Better, much better, than the “Lucrezia” I’ve been using.

  25. 25
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    My prediction is that Kushner’s sleazy scamster piece of shit fraud father has a presidential pardon in hand before the end of January.

    In my ideal story, Trump is dragged by his heels from the scorched roof of the black tower by an enraged mob of surviving flash burnt New Yorkers as he is awaiting the helicopter that was supposed to whisk him to some place of relative safety (but which was diverted by the military in favor of having a combined EU/Chinese extraction team take him to Beijing for a trial for Crimes Against Humanity). In the ensuing chaos, Kushner draws the attention of the crowd by screaming “do you know who I am” as a portion of the crowd turns and rips him limb from limb, as Ivanka shrieks in vain.

    A portion of the crowd intervenes to protect Trump from mob justice, and turns him over to the EU/Chinese extraction team.

    At his trial, he Saddams it. Ivanka gets the bill from the PRC for the costs of imposition of the sentence….

  26. 26
    randy khan says:

    @Pogonip:

    I think we can both mock people and strategize. And since a lot of the work that needs to be done isn’t exactly headline stuff, there’s only so much of it to talk about here.

    I do hope people are keeping pressure on their Senators about both the ACA and the Trump nominations. I know I am.

  27. 27
    ruemara says:

    @gvg: Pretty sure Ivanka is ok with it, since her affections lie with her father. I don’t call them the Low Rent Borgias for nothing.

    @Pogonip: Who the fuck is patting themselves on the back? We’re goddamned terrified. And until you see not dems but progressives aligning behind working on voting rights, your estimate of 20 years of nothing is cute. It’s 20 years of losses.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Pogonip: Glad you piped up because Democrats have engaged in no soul searching whatsoever since the election, nor have there been any discussions, arguments, spit-balling, etc., about strategy.

  29. 29
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @SRW1:

    Anybody know if a plagiarized PhD is revocable?

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gvg:

    All the rest of it……I still don’t understand them, but I know they can’t be trusted. They just aren’t as smart as they think they are and have no wisdom.

    That’s lethal, especially in combination with their undoubted arrogance. And it’s that combination that will drive their eventual* downfall.

    *sooner rather than later, if the FSM truly loves me

  31. 31
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Pogonip: This myth needs to die. We aren’t chortling at these people while throwing back martinis. We are raging at these people because they’re fucking horrible and they’re going to destroy this country while they loot it.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: I think what really sucks for her, and for us, is that she has spent her career covering authoritarian governments, mostly in Eastern Europe, and now she’s covering a budding authoritarian takeover of the USA. She and other people who study authoritarian governments have been talking about this for the last 18 months to two years and got little coverage. She’s an American and hates seeing it happen here, but the steps are predictable and she and others have been sending out warnings for quite awhile now. Things are going as predicted.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @SRW1: It was the job of her committee to recognize that.

  34. 34
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:

    So do we think the Trump sons hate him because Trump prefers him over his own sons? I do! :)

    Yes, but I also think they are so cowed by the great man that they won’t do anything about it. They will stand around waiting for him to fuck up, hoping to swoop in and make Dad finally proud of them. Problem is Jared is smarter then his in-laws, so he will continue to run circles around them.

  35. 35
    ruemara says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You need to learn NYC slang. that’s not what it means. try backwater rube.

  36. 36
    Pogonip says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes, I should have specified I meant this site. The party as a whole may well be strategizing. I certainly hope so.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @randy khan: that’s certainly how Manhattan Matt Yglesias used it, though in fairness he was making the I think valid point that Trump and Jared are both trust fund babies whose daddies made their money building modest apartments in the parts of the NY area where more people actually live (Queens, Brooklyn and northernNew Jersey) and then overreached on shiny objects in the place people who watch TV think of as “New York”

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yarrow:

    mostly in Eastern Europe

    Actually she made her bones in Uzbekistan.

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    @Pogonip: You know what? Until you tell me what you did and plan to do to help, I consider you a bigger problem than they are. After all one expects attacks from one’s enemies, not one’s so-called “allies.”

  40. 40
    Barbara says:

    @Pogonip: Well, yes, of course, but I don’t see anyone here patting themselves on the back, and information gathering is somewhat important when devising strategy. At any rate, strategy takes shape as an affirmative means of dealing with events as they transpire. It has to be sufficiently flexible to take advantage of what actually happens, what inroads open up.

  41. 41
    Xenos says:

    @celticdragonchick: Lani R. was a real artist. Kellyanne is a bullshit artist.

  42. 42
    Pogonip says:

    @randy khan: Fair enough. Carry on having fun!

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Pogonip: I’m not telling you to stop patting yourselves on the back altogether, because I know it’s fun

    Feeling jealous of all the attention NR and GoBlow72Goats get?

  44. 44
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes, sorry. I mixed her up her focus with that of another one of the excellent women who speak out on this subject. I didn’t get to sleep until after 4:00 a.m. and am exhausted. Brain not functioning properly.

  45. 45
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Lee:

    It’s the Putin playbook. And you use “social issues” (Russian Orthodox church / evangelicals) to distract everyone while you loot the country.

  46. 46
    sam says:

    @hovercraft:

    He may not have believed all of the convoluted conspiracy theory per se, but he is a racist. I think he believes that Obama got into and though the Ivy League schools because of affirmative action. He was intimately involved in his fathers housing discrimination, and he CHOSE to inject himself into the case of the Central Park Five, and still to this day, in spite of the real perpetuators confession, says they are guilty. So yes he exploited birthirism, but he fully supports the sentiment behind it, which is that a back man as president is not cannot be legitimate.

    This is the thing that drives me up a wall more than anything. I went to law school at Penn, and I got in pretty much on merit (I obviously acknowledge that there’s always going to be a certain amount of privilege involved in growing up white in nice suburban community with good schools, etc. – but my parents didn’t graduate from ANY college, much less mine, and certainly didn’t buy my way in anywhere).

    But there was always a certain subset of classmates who we would look at and wonder, how the hell did they get into this school. Because they were fucking idiots. But they walked around like they owned the place. And then at graduation, Penn had this tradition where if you had a family member who was an alumni, they could hand you your diploma instead of the dean. And to a person, every single one of these slackers had a parent or grandparent who had not only graduated, but whose name adorned one of our buildings. The rest of us sat in the queue and literally went “ohhh, now I get it”.

    (that’s not to say that every legacy was a slacker – I definitely knew a few folks who were smart/hardworking and were just as committed as the rest of us).

    Trump’s daddy bought his way into my university (and only for the last two years as a transfer). Everyone knows that. and trump’s kids only attended because they were legacies. They’re an embarrassment to the rest of us. From what I’ve heard about Kushner, he was a “gentleman’s C” student at Harvard AT BEST, after his dad wrote a giant check. These are the ULTIMATE affirmative action cases. But Trump truly believes in his own genetic superiority (watch the Frontline episode about him), so the idea that someone who came from nothing, and worse, who is BLACK, somehow got in on merit? is just anathema to him.

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @sam:

    And to a person, every single one of these slackers had a parent or grandparent who had not only graduated, but whose name adorned one of our buildings.

    Happens everywhere. I remember a guy I went to college with who broke all sorts of rules of the college and broke the law. The rules as they should have applied and would have applied to anyone else meant that he should have been expelled. He had his hearing and wasn’t even suspended. His family name was on a building at the school, so….

  48. 48
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Pogonip: Smarmy contrarian is smarmily contrary. Yawn.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    sigaba says:

    Hard to figure out what Jared Kushner wants. I suppose he got together with Murdoch because he wanted to figure out how to make some money out of his newspaper, but why Bannon? Is it because Breitbart makes a lot of money? What do Bannon and Trump have that Kushner could possibly want?

    I would make a terrible rich person. I’d just jog every day and read the Internet, eat out every night and maybe produce some movies, but that’s at best only a maybe.

  51. 51

    @Pogonip: Since we are you people, who the hell are you?

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: why are you all just reading and commenting on a silly political blog instead of out in the streets fighting the real revolution? asked, self-righteously, the person reading and commenting on a political blog

  53. 53
    🌷 Martin says:

    @raven: True, but I need to point out that plagiarism is infinitely easier to spot now than it was then. These technologies are not as widely used as they should be, but we’re at a point that if they were used broadly and consequences were adequate, that nobody would bother trying to plagiarize any longer.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @Raven Onthill: This story is based on a series of reports in the Financial Times. They generally have good reporting and that gives me hope that the research is accurate. I hope the story has legs and reporters here take a look.

  55. 55
    Spanky says:

    @sigaba:

    Hard to figure out what Jared Kushner wants.

    More. More money. More women. And certainly more power. Wouldn’t surprise me if his fevered imagination sees himself as the country’s first Jewish President some day soon.

  56. 56
    🌷 Martin says:

    @sigaba: Power. Bannon is a propagandist, and has been clearly effective in that role. I imagine that we will have an ongoing campaign of White House originating propaganda flowing out through friendly outlets. Kushner is building connections and allies. He’s building relationships within the Chinese government while he gets an inside line in the US government. Trump got an assist from Russia. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t expect to see him run for President with an assist from China.

  57. 57
    sigaba says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “why are you all just reading and commenting on a silly political blog instead of out in the streets fighting the real revolution?”

    The leadership of our political party and the people who would take charge in the event of our success have stated outright that they wouldn’t support any such protests and they consider Trump and the Republican majorities in our government completely legitimate.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: It is. In fact Columbia, where she did her degree, defines two types of violations that deal with failure to attribute to a direct quote versus failure to attribute to a paraphrase that has not been substantively paraphrased (direct lift with the change of a few words only). Columbia has revoked doctorates in the past for this. As have a number of institutions. This happens everywhere. Less so now that we have the plagiarism checking software programs, but it still happens. A couple of years ago Senator Walsh (D-Montana) had his Masters of National Security and Strategy revoked by the US Army War College because he plagiarized in his Strategy Research Project (sort of what they use as a masters thesis) when he was a student at USAWC in 2007.
    http://missoulian.com/news/loc.....c5773.html

    HELENA – The U.S. Army War College on Friday revoked Sen. John Walsh’s master’s degree after its investigation concluded that he had plagiarized his final paper in 2007.

    “Your U.S. Army War College diploma, Master of Strategic Studies degree and credit for completion of senior service in college are revoked,” Maj. Gen. William E. Rapp, commandant of the Army War College, wrote Walsh on Friday.

    Rapp rejected Walsh’s appeal and upheld the Aug. 22 conclusion by the Army War College’s academic review board that Walsh had plagiarized his paper. The board described it as “egregious.”

    After the decision Friday, Walsh’s name was ground off an Army War College plaque that listed those who had received master’s degrees there in 2007, Carol Kerr, the college’s public affairs officer, confirmed.

    The decision came about 11 weeks after the New York Times reported that Walsh had “appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ work, with no attribution.”

    Walsh first announced the Army War College’s ruling against him through a news release.

    After he did so, a spokeswoman for the Army War College issued a statement confirming the decision to revoke his degree.

    “Though I disagree with the findings made by the War College, I accept its decision with great humility and respect for the U.S. military,” Walsh, 53, said in a statement.

    Walsh had appealed the review board’s ruling, apologizing for his mistake but asking Rapp to also consider his career accomplishments after he completed the Army War College.

    The decision will not affect Walsh’s final military rank. He entered the Army War College as a colonel and retired as a colonel, his office said.

    Walsh’s Senate office made public all of the documents related to the investigation.

    After that occurred, Kerr issued a statement confirming that the Army War College commandant had notified Walsh of “the final decision to revoke his status as a graduate student of the Army War College.”

    Walsh issued a public apology, saying in a statement:

    “I apologize to all Montanans for the plagiarism in my 2007 paper, and I am prepared to live with its consequences. I may not be a scholar, but I am proud to have been a soldier who has served Montana and this great nation for 33 years in uniform.”

    Walsh was unavailable for interviews, but pledged to proudly serve the state in the Senate through the end of his term.

    (Full disclosure: MG Rapp was the final of the three Commandants I served as Cultural Advisor, USAWC and Carol Kerr, the Public Affairs Officer is a friend. I do not, that I know of, know Senator Walsh)

  59. 59
    SRW1 says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    Anybody know if a plagiarized PhD is revocable?

    I suspect so, though I am not one hundred percent sure how American universities handle that.

    I know that it is in Germany, cause at least two of Merkel’s ministers had to resign after they had their PhD thesis revoked for plagiarism. Oddly enough, that kind of ethical lapse did not prevent Merkel to subsequently make one the perpetrators German ambassador to the Vatican. Apparently, the thesis, which had been in theology, was still good enough for that job. But then Merkel’s own thesis is apparently not accessible for the public.

    ETA: As usual, Adam was much better informed.

  60. 60
    sigaba says:

    @🌷 Martin: Power for what? To accomplish what? Power and money aren’t ends in themselves.

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    @sigaba:

    Hard to figure out what Jared Kushner wants. I suppose he got together with Murdoch because he wanted to figure out how to make some money out of his newspaper, but why Bannon? Is it because Breitbart makes a lot of money? What do Bannon and Trump have that Kushner could possibly want?

    I get the impression that Kushner wants power and revenge. He’s already got money but more is better. Bannon is also about power and revenge. I think these tendencies are where their goals intersect.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    @Pogonip: someone here mentioned that gallows humor is a lot less amusing, the closer you are to the gallows. So i get where you’re coming from.

    Lots of discussions here on grassroots and organizing.

    What do you do, though, when too many voters have demonstrated they prefer the audacity of “the big lie?” Trump et al count on that.

    There is no mandate. They will overreach. I hope they will be brought to ground. And they very well may.

  63. 63
    Pogonip says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hi Adam, do they pull your clearance if you get caught cheating on your SRP?

  64. 64
    waysel says:

    @Kay: YES!

  65. 65

    This is terrifying stuff. Thanks for posting. I knew Kushner was bad and I’ve been describing him to friends as ‘evil’, for which I get mega side-eye, but this provides some very helpful background for explaining exactly how.

  66. 66
    Pogonip says:

    @schrodingers_cat: “Your Majesty” is fine , I don’t stand on ceremony.

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @sigaba: Well, when there’s no goal for the power and seems to be power for its own sake then it might be to compensate for something missing in the person. Or a psychological issue.

  68. 68
    Pogonip says:

    @Betty Cracker: See you in 4 years at President Trump’s 2nd inauguration!

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    Jeff Sessions is No Champion of Civil Rights
    by Martin Longman
    January 10, 2017 11:35 AM

    The Ku Klux Klan went broke and disbanded during World War Two. James Colescott, their Imperial Wizard at the time, blamed FDR (“the nigger lover”) and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (“that Jew”) for orchestrating his organization’s demise. In truth, though, it was the Internal Revenue Service that came calling with a bill for $685,305 in unpaid taxes.

    I want you to know that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had nothing to do with this. He wasn’t even born until two years after the second iteration of the Klan closed up shop.

    When it was announced that Sessions would be the nominee to serve as Attorney General, the right-wing alt-right wingnut media was ready with their talking points, which were heavy on the idea that Sessions is the farthest thing from a Klansman that you ever saw and that he’s actually responsible for singlehandedly crushing the Klan to death. Even Erick Erickson got into the game, informing us that “The media wants you to think Jeff Sessions is some sort of Alabamian unrepentant racist, but in fact Jeff Sessions has a long history of fighting segregation in Alabama, seeking the death penalty for KKK members, and marching with civil rights leaders to commemorate and honor the 50th anniversary of the march at Selma.”

    On that whole seeking the death penalty for KKK members thing, I’m having just a wee bit of trouble verifying that. You see, it’s a reference to the conviction and ultimate execution of Henry Francis Hays. On March 21st, 1981, Hays and two coconspirators kidnapped Michael Donald off a Mobile, Alabama street and lynched him. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama at the time was Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, which must have been a great comfort to Michael’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald.

    At first, the investigation went in a very Alabama kind of way:

    The Mobile police chief was certain from the very beginning that the Klansmen were involved. Despite that, the police soon arrested three young men they described as ”junkie types.”

    The whole junkie thing didn’t really fly because junkies aren’t known for hanging black people up in trees down the street from their mother’s house, and Michael didn’t use drugs. So, the District Attorney for Alabama asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for some help. That investigation “produced no useful evidence, however, and it seemed that the killers would go unpunished.”

    We’re quite a way down the road here and we still have not seen an appearance by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. We will hear now from his assistant:

    The FBI investigated and was ready to close its investigation, but Thomas Figures, the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Mobile, asked the Dept. of Justice to authorize a second investigation and worked closely with FBI agent James Bodman. His brother Michael Figures, a state senator and civil rights activist, served as an attorney to Beulah Mae Donald and also encouraged the investigation. Two and a half years later in 1983, Henry Hays and James Knowles were arrested. Knowles confessed to Bodman in 1983, and additional evidence was revealed during the civil trial initiated by Donald’s mother Beulah Mae Donald in 1984. As a result, in 1988 Benjamin Franklin Cox, Jr., a truckdriver, was indicted as an accomplice in the criminal case. Henry’s father Bennie Hays was also indicted in Donald’s murder.

    There are two things I want you to take away from that blockquote above. First, the third iteration of the Ku Klux Klan was ruined by Beulah Mae Donald’s civil case which resulted in a $7 million judgment in her favor. She wound up owning the KKK’s Tuscaloosa headquarters. And an all-white jury gave it to her, too, which she didn’t expect.

    ……………..

    Second, where have we heard that name “Thomas Figures” before?

    In 1986, Session’s nomination for a federal judgeship was rejected after one of his former subordinates, Thomas Figures, alleged that Sessions called him “boy,” made remarks disparaging civil-rights organizations, and made jokes about the KKK, even as his office was investigating the Donald lynching.

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    Hey guys, don’t be rough on Pogonip. She may not have been following the blog, out of despair. It happens. Sometimes the “cool kids” vibe gets to me, too. People are hurting.

  71. 71
    sherparick1 says:

    Digby has a nice list of all the current known conflicts of interests of Trump administration. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....s-job.html

    It links to the Sunlight Foundation and I am sure this list will be growing exponentially in coming months. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....s-job.html

    Obama’s may have been the most scandal free and honest administration in American history (although they had I believe an ideological soft spot for American finance and made a decision not to prosecute the bankers after 2007-09.)

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: A little inside academia baseball. While running these things through the plagiarism checking software is now, as far as I know (haven’t been in academia in over a decade) standard – either the dissertation chair or masters major advisor do it or they require the student to do it and forward the report to them – back when Crowley did her doctorate these programs really weren’t available. This would have meant an exhaustive, manual check. And no one’s committee did that unless someone on that committee had reason to believe there was or would be a problem. The default setting is “my student/advisee is trustworthy. There are citations, they’re in the right format, I have no reason to believe he or she would plagiarize.

    I looked through the documentation of her dissertation plagiarism last night. This is not a “you had 300 citations, all correct, in retrospect it turns out you needed 302, be more careful next time”. This is directly lifting material, specifically quotations, without attribution and quoting material as paraphrased material some with and some without citations where the paraphrased material is actually direct quotation – she only changed a word or two. In short: she passed off other people’s work as her own.

  73. 73
    Elizabelle says:

    @Pogonip: but don’t dare say that! Pogonip!

    For one thing, I don’t think Trump’s health will hold. Who knows if he will serve a full term?

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That is east of Europe…

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, but relevant to one of our long-running rotating tags:

    Michael Chamberlain, Father of Baby Killed by a Dingo in Australia, Dies at 72

  76. 76
    Mary G says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The passive-aggressive is strong in that one.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I don’t know what’s weirder, the “my typing is real activism” fantasy, or the delusion that the Balloon Juice comments section is the Grand Sanhedrin of the American Left. Probably the latter is weirder, the former is just more obnoxious.

  78. 78
    hovercraft says:

    @sigaba:
    Not that hard, power, money and revenge. Remember for most of us a couple million would be enough, for people like this, it is a weapon to use to avenge any slight, and it is also validation, both of these men keep trying to prove that they made it on their own, without Daddy’s help, but everyone knows that’s bullshit, but they keep trying. Now that they have done this thing that everyone said couldn’t be done, now they get to show us all. But instead of being able to bask in the glow of this accomplishment, everyone is digging through their past, exposing all of their failures and all the ways they are not their own men, but spoiled, insecure men who needed Daddy to get where they are today. That burns, and we will all pay for humiliating them this way, how dare people point out the truth, there is a myth they want to sell, literally. Who thinks there won’t be merchandise and a book or two, or four, or ten. This presidency will be monetized.

  79. 79
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    So do we think the Trump sons hate him because Trump prefers him over his own sons? I do! :)

    I hope so! It’s clear Ivanka is his favorite. Elevating her husband really has to burn. Maybe a public falling out between them is coming.

  80. 80
    Vor says:

    @Elizabelle: he is the oldest first-term President-elect. Older than Reagan.

  81. 81
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Kushner indispensable bc 1 of family must always be w him to keep track of what happens bc DJT can’t remember

    Not joking, I believe that

    Dana Houle’s Tweet is spot on, but not just because of the need to keep track of all the complexities of Trump’s business and other details.

    More and more, the diagnosis of early to mid-stage cognitive impairment/dementia is making the most sense of all the varying aspects of this guy. I think it’s been creeping up for a while, and like most families dealing with early onset Alzheimers or other dementia, the warning signs in a here-to-for intelligent, independent family member are subtle, and family often is in denial about what’s going on with the parent. Ivanka has seen them. She’s been there by his side for over a decade, she knows the truth: Dad’s not in full control of his faculties.

    The thing that happens with these disorders/diseases is this tendency to alternate between being “themselves” and being impaired. During the high functioning periods, they can come across as completely normal and they are often in great denial themselves about their illness. The patient will insist on being able to be fully independent and able to make all their decisions themselves when everyone around them knows that they’re in trouble. I’ve seen these patient’s become outraged when family or medical professionals suggest that they are anything other than 100%, which is frightening for those family members who know otherwise.

    But even with the most careful control of their lives, during times of extreme stress or illness, and particularly in the nighttime hours, these folks reveal their impairment emotionally and cognitively.

    Ivanka is probably the only kid in the family who is willing to be personally involved in the job of protecting Daddy from himself–the creepy, narcissistic boys just wanna use his name to make themselves richer and spend the money he created for them to go on big game hunting trips. She’s the classic older daughter caretaker, and it’s why Jared is there too–they’re “protecting” Daddy. Hubby is probably the only one SHE trusts to be her partner in all this.

    Because Daddy is still able to send people to the cornfield for disagreeing with him, she has to walk a fine line with him in order to protect him from his bad choices–eg, this group of backstabbing monsters he’s got around him as “Presidential Advisors”. Bannon, Pence, Flynn, Kellyanne–they’re all still respected by Trump during his lucid times, and since the world still thinks he’s in full control of his world she knows that she must maintain her close relationship with him to keep him safe.

    If any of this got out, if a great journalist did a deep investigation on this issue and produced a report on par with Eichenwald or Farhenthold’s work, it would be of great service to America.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: IMHO the committee should be acquainted enough with the literature to at least spot some of it. There was a lit review and a proposal as well.

  83. 83
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Vor: who brags about his lack of exercise, loves junk food, has rage issues, apparently a really unhealthy sleep pattern (ETA) and lies about his height so he won’t be classified as obese.

  84. 84
    Spanky says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Only Herman Cain knows for sure.

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Pogonip: In the case of Senator Walsh he was retired from the Army and whatever clearance he had/needed came as a result of being a Constitutional officer, specifically a US senator. It should be disqualifying as part of the 13 category, whole of person assessment. Ultimately it is up to the adjudicator. I’ve seen people who claim to have doctorates, and don’t and who we were able to demonstrably show did not and had been repeatedly lying about it, maintain clearances. Took me three years to get one of those knuckleheads fired. Another one we have reason to believe was a KGB for cover asset before becoming an American citizen based on the position he held at a USSR member country embassy in DC when the Soviet Union ended. We couldn’t get the CI guys to do much about him – largely because he has an SES 3 as top cover. Hell, because that SES 3, who had hired him and was actually covering his own incompetence in vetting, was covering for him we couldn’t get him fired even though his term appointment required he provide transcripts or equivalent verification of his doctorate. Of course this guy only has a secret clearance, so he’s limited in what he can access.

  86. 86
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Ok, so I’ve typed two comments now that simply have disappeared into the mist–no “awaiting moderation” messages or anything. Just gone.
    So if they show up later, forgive me for repeating myself. But in the meantime, what the heck would cause that?

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    @sam:

    tell that truth

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sigaba:

    What do Bannon and Trump have that Kushner could possibly want?

    Power. It’s as simple as that.

  89. 89
    patrick II says:

    Trump’s campaign pledge to clean up corruption is looking a lot like Nixon’s pledge to end the Vietnam War

    Fill in the blank:

    Trump’s campaign pledge to _______________ is looking a lot like Nixon’s pledge to end the Vietnam War

    Have mexicans pay for the wall
    make sure every american has insurance
    bring back coal jobs just like in the old days
    bring back steel jobs just like in the old days
    put his assets in a blind trust
    make america great again
    etc. etc.

  90. 90
    hovercraft says:

    @sigaba:
    The same type of power the Shitgibbon wields over his family. Reporting also says that his father Charles is a domineering bully in the mold of his father-in-law, so he probably wants to have the sort of power he’s seen all his life, the ability to force people to his will for a change. I’m sure he relishes the power he has/had over Chris Christie, keeping him out of the cabinet, forcing him to grovel for any crumb thrown his way. He ahs been dominated by “strong” men all his life, having a chance to be the dominating one for a change is probably intoxicating.

  91. 91
    Spanky says:

    @sigaba:

    Power for what? To accomplish what? Power and money aren’t ends in themselves.

    You seem encumbered by the belief that logic is involved here. It’s not.

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    So do we think the Trump sons hate him because Trump prefers him over his own sons? I do! :)

    Palace intrigue. Let’s speculate and make it into fake news, why don’t we?

    Kay,

    you are hilarious. I love your righteous anger

  93. 93

    @Pogonip: Fuck off or if you prefer in Hindi, भाड मे जाओ.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well this:

    that the Balloon Juice comments section is the Grand Sanhedrin of the American Left.

    certainly explains the all the gear I have to put on when I write a new post:
    http://www.biblesearchers.com/.....age001.jpg

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sigaba:

    Power and money aren’t ends in themselves.

    For you they aren’t. For a lot of people, yes, money and power are ends unto themselves.

  96. 96
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle:

    For one thing, I don’t think Trump’s health will hold. Who knows if he will serve a full term?

    I agree that his health doesn’t look good. Sometimes the mean and cruel part of me hopes he suffers something that at least for awhile renders him incapable of communicating but he can still mostly understand what’s happening. Perhaps a stroke followed by aphasia. Being unable to tweet or even dictate his tweets would be impossible for him to handle.

    But I’m not really a mean person so then I think better of all that. I don’t like wishing ill on people. Sometimes the mind wanders, though…

  97. 97

    @Pogonip: So what are you out there doing?

  98. 98
    hovercraft says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:
    Gremlins?

  99. 99
    Barney says:

    My concern isn’t that Kuchner is half-bright. I think he’s completely bright, and knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s the power behind the throne, that has accepted the offer to do the actual running of the USA, while Trump farts around on Twitter and keeps his marks happy with speeches using 3rd grade vocabulary. He’s Trump’s Cheney (whether Mike Pence ever thought he’d occupy that position, I can’t tell. At best, he’ll get the fundamentalist Christian gig – nothing that involves money).

    ‘Half-bright’ might apply to Trump, though. He knows how to keep attention on him in media of all types, and how to find good accountants and lawyers to find loopholes for business. He neither knows nor cares how to run a country.

  100. 100
    ruemara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Chastising us slackers, duh. Pardon me while I make a giant puppet and go protest in the rain.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: Can you imagine the conspiracy theories is he does snuff it?

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    The historical corollary may be the Somoza family in Nicaragua.

    It will probably take a disaster like the 1972 earthquake response/looting of aid to finally expose
    this pack of bums.

  103. 103
    Yarrow says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I think there are a couple of words that cause FYWP to send your comment into the ether. Did you include a link? Can be something in that too.

  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, you’re the expert, Dr. Silverman. I’m just some random dude typing comments on a blog. But I thought “east of Europe” and “Eastern Europe” were different areas.

  105. 105
    Pogonip says:

    @Elizabelle: Awww. Thank you!

  106. 106
    Pogonip says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Well, I can’t argue with such incisive logic. Wouldn’t even try. Bless your heart.

  107. 107
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Off the charts unless he literally has a heart attack or stroke on stage in front of everywhere. And even then….

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: I don’t disagree, but often they’re not. Especially the specialized literature and material. When I started my doctoral program, because I’d already done two masters and wrote on different elements of terrorism/low intensity warfare and political violence in each of my theses, I knew far, far, far more about terrorism than anyone on my committee. Hell, I knew far more about terrorism than anyone at the University of Florida. In fact both my dissertation chairs, one in polisci and one in crim, made it clear that their job was to shepherd me through learning the disciplines of political science and criminology – theory, methods – and not teach me anything about my specific research interest and specialty. At the time I was doing my doctorate, I was already one of the senior researchers on terrorism in Criminology (there used to only be about a dozen of us) and one of only a couple of dozen in Political Science. 9-11 didn’t change anything at first, but by the mid 00s you couldn’t swing a cat at an academic meeting without hitting a “terrorism specialist”. And the quotation marks are intentional. So to circle back: had I decided to just lift huge chunks from the terrorism literature, such as it was in the late 1990s, no one would have known. Because it was still considered to be an obscure area that kept itself that way.

  109. 109

    @ruemara: I think it’s also funny for people (who presumably are ‘doing nothing’) to take so much joy in chastising us slackers despite the fact that any regular commenter would recognize that many of us are busy doing things, since we post about it.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: They went into the trash folder. I do not know why this happens, seemingly randomly. I have freed them.

  111. 111
    Pogonip says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I vote and plead with Democrats, the only realistic opposition to one-party rule, to stop alienating the citizenry in flyover states. Neither one does much good, so I might as well stop. I’ve been pounding on a locked, barred door. Silly of me. I’m glad you got me to think again. Thank you!

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: We’re all hurting. That’s no excuse to misrepresent what people are doing and insult them. YMMV because you’re probably a nicer person than I am.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pogonip:

    Except that Trump’s guys didn’t figure out how to game the Electoral College. Karl Rove did, and he started setting that up back in 2010 as soon as Citizens United was decided and he had unlimited funds to influence local elections.

    Remember that infamous meltdown Rove had during the 2012 election returns? That was because he thought he had set the system up correctly, and it didn’t quite work. So they made a few tweaks, tightened up voter ID laws to make it even harder to get one, and … voilà.

    Now, this whole thing was probably set up to benefit Jeb Bush, but he was rejected by Republican primary voters and by the time that was clear, it was too late. The booby trap could not be disarmed.

    And here we are, caught by boobies.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I was playing off of your response to tease the original poster that it was East of Europe as opposed to Eastern Europe…

  115. 115

    @Pogonip:

    I vote and plead with Democrats

    On the internet, or in real life? There are plenty of intra-party things to get involved with if you want to have a say in how the actual party actually works.

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes, and have you shopped for a new Curious Girdle of the Ephod recently? The prices are scandalous!

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And here we are, caught by boobies.

    Usually not the worst way to go…

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pogonip:

    Please take a minute to read about the massive voter suppression that happened in this election.

    This didn’t happen because voters in “flyover country” just happened to rebel against the Democrats. This. Was. Carefully. Planned. For. Years.

    Your fellow citizens are being denied their right to vote because of the color of their skin. You should be angry about that.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I know a guy… Just don’t ask too many question, alright?

  120. 120
    hovercraft says:

    OT
    Ryan: We’ll Try To Repeal And Replace Obamacare ‘Concurrently’

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday indicated that Republicans in Congress will look to repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time, diverging from Republicans’ previous plan of repealing the health care law quickly but delaying passing a replacement plan.

    “This will unfold as we bring this process together. But it is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” Ryan told reporters about the repeal and replace process. “We already showed people what we believe in — what Obamacare should be replaced with, so we’re gonna use every tool at our disposal, through legislation, through regulation, to bring replace concurrent along with repeal so that we can save people from this mess.”

    The speaker also said that Republicans’ plan would also make sure “there is a stable transition period so that people do not have the rug pulled out from under them.”

    Ryan’s comments follow apprehension among certain key Republican senators about repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan lined up. Five senators on Monday night introduced an amendment to delay the process to repeal Obamacare by more than a month. The senators said the delay would “ensure that we move forward with a smart, responsible plan to replace the law as quickly as possible.” Members of the House Freedom Caucus also signaled Monday night that they will need to know more about a replacement plan before voting to move forward with repealing Obamacare.

    The speaker also indicated Tuesday that Republicans will look to deal with replacement as much as possible through budget reconciliation, the process GOP lawmakers plan to use to repeal the law that avoids the Senate filibuster. But Ryan said that Republicans may pass additional health care reforms outside of that.

    “We will pass as much as we can through whatever vehicle we’ve got, and then we’ll pass all the other things through regular order, outside of reconciliation, that show you the full scope of what a real replacement effort looks like,” he told reporters. “But just know, repealing Obamacare in the beginning and giving people relief and allowing companies to compete and giving more choices to begin with will help heal this problem we have.”

    “So immediately we can provide relief this year to families struggling under Obamacare. That’s good. Then we want to build on that success by even getting more reforms through regular order if it has to occur outside of reconciliation,” Ryan added. “The point being, we have ideas and solutions.”

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was playing off of your response to tease the original poster that it was East of Europe …

    I love that novel, and the James Dean movie they made from it.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Pogonip: Are you involved with your local Democrats and perhaps running for an office? That’s what the rightwing people did decades ago. Start with the local offices–school board, precinct chair or even lower than that. Then work their way up. If you want things to change then “vot[ing] and plead[ing] with Democrats, the only realistic opposition to one-party rule, to stop alienating the citizenry in flyover states” is not your only option, nor may it be your best option.

  123. 123

    @Mnemosyne: Careful with that thoroughly-acknowledged hobby horse, Mnem, or somebody might accuse you of having a hobby horse! ;)

  124. 124
    The Lodger says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So one of the Biblical references for the Kohen Gadol Shemot garments is from Matthew? That’s an eclectic bunch of guys you have there.

  125. 125

    @raven: I agree. If this was the chair’s area of expertise (which is presumably why they’re directing it), then something should have rung a bell. In your own area, you know all the major stuff and probably wrote some of it.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    Someone had a link yesterday saying that several Republican Senators — Rand Paul is the only name I can think of — have balked at voting for “repeal and delay” in the lame duck session. Presumably getting screaming phone calls from healthcare lobbyists has given them a little pause.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Yarrow:

    “vot[ing] and plead[ing] with Democrats, the only realistic opposition to one-party rule, to stop alienating the citizenry in flyover states” is not your only option, nor may it be your best option.

    Absolutely not the best option, since this whole “alienating Real Americans” thing is a bunch of crap.

  129. 129
    D58826 says:

    So listening to the Sessions confirmation hearing. Seems that no one knew that Sessions was a founding member of the ACLU and helped the Selma marchers to cross the Pettus Bridge. (obviously sarcasm). Why even have confirmation hearings if these bozos are going to lie their butts off about things that can be easily debunked with a google search. Softball questions asked and carefully scripted ‘acceptable answers’ given. Total Waste of time

  130. 130

    @Pogonip: Better than your passive-aggressive insults. Keep your blessings, such as they are to yourself.

  131. 131
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And I was just having a bit of fun with the honorific, based on a thread from yesterday, I think.

  132. 132

    CNN says that HarperCollins will stop selling Crowley’s book due to plagiarism. Meanwhile, being a fucking Nazi has still not stopped Simon & Schuster from canceling Milo’s book deal.

  133. 133
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: I had the following horrible and weird realization: Remember when the GOP was considering
    electoral vote by congressional district, but only in the states that voted Democratic but had GOP governments? That plan fizzled out.
    Look what states that would have affected: WISC, MICH, IOWA, OHIO, PA, VA

    Of these, only VA went for Clinton.

    If It had passed in those states, which were the likely ones to pull the trigger to benefit the GOP, Hillary would have either won or would have been much closer to winning. I might even count up how many votes closer that would have made the race.

    Paranoid, not much.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I have two pretty hobby horses — would you like to see the one about precinct organizing again? I’ve braided pink ribbons into its mane.

  135. 135
    hovercraft says:

    @Mnemosyne: From TPM I think the calls are helping, also I read somewhere that the states are panicking too, even the red ones, because when they pull the rug out of the system, the shits gonna hit the fan.

    After publicly airing some of their grievances with the GOP’s current strategy of repealing Obamacare without a replacement plan, a handful of Republican senators put their concerns in legislative writing. Five senators on Monday evening introduced a measure that would delay the next steps on repealing the Affordable Care Act by more than a month. The senators, in their statements accompanying the provision, said the delay would buy Congress more time to work out of the the details of a replacement.

    “This amendment will ensure that we move forward with a smart, responsible plan to replace the law as quickly as possible,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in a statement announcing the measure. He was joined by Bob Corker (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in introducing the proposal.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @Barney:

    He’s Trump’s Cheney (whether Mike Pence ever thought he’d occupy that position, I can’t tell. At best, he’ll get the fundamentalist Christian gig – nothing that involves money).

    More Trump’s Rasputin. Cheney, as VP, had a constitutional office from which he could wield authority over cabinet officials and others. Kushner lacks any clear line of authority.

    OTOH, it will be interesting to see what becomes of Pence. Maybe he is valued for his ability to deal with Congress?

  137. 137
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    My prediction is that Kushner’s sleazy scamster piece of shit fraud father has a presidential pardon in hand before the end of January.

    The combination of them declaring themselves the smartest people in the room and pig ignorance of how things works just screams Hubris.

    You know Trump and his son certainly have a more than a little Papltine and Darth Vader to them – some old goblin with scary lighting and a whinny teen in a Halloween mask playing at masters of the universe on some stupid but “awwsome” Death Star like project.

  138. 138
    Yoda Dog says:

    @Elizabelle: The “cool kids vibe” gets to alot of us sometimes, I think. I try to just listen mostly because someone will imminently articulate what I have to add in a more eloquent manner, more often than not. But he is way out of line there, humping his straw-man. Noone is happy about any of this which should be obvious to anyone who actually reads the blog. He’s just looking for a reaction/attention. Textbook trollery.

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That part I got.

  140. 140
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Why would Rupert want to stop her, he’s employed her for years, she a Nixon alum, she’s blond, and she spouts the right nonsense. Pulling the book would be an implicit admission that she did something wrong, he wants her to sail through. Unlike Sessions who is one of them, they relevant committee probably wouldn’t lie for her, that is if she needs confirmation.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    I’m not sure I’m following — how would Hillary have won those states if it had been decided district-by-district? I may need to see some math or a map to picture it. 😄

    Overall, yes, the Republicans identified the firewall states and worked hard to suppress Democratic voters there. As with so many things in his life, Trump benefited from other people’s work without having to lift a finger himself.

  142. 142

    @hovercraft: It’s a distraction from the real distractions.

  143. 143
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Brachiator:

    Maybe he is valued for his ability to deal with Congress?

    I thought the reason why everyone assumed Peance would be shadow president is Peance was a govenor. Otherwise, I gather Peance isn’t even that popular even among conservatives.

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    Oh, yes, I didn’t mean to imply that panicked calls and faxes from voters weren’t helping as well. Just saying that, for once, the corporate lobbyists are on the side of the voters and are bringing their influence to bear as well.

  145. 145
    Elizabelle says:

    I am going to guess/hope Sessions does not get confirmed. To see.

  146. 146
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Its the Medicaid expansion. Senator Capito from WV doesn’t want to see it go because its covering both the treatment for the WV drug addiction epidemic and for the black lung stuff. Similarly, the states that accepted the Medicaid expansion don’t want to see it go away because if it does, they’ve got all these people on their hands with suddenly no care and no way to fund anything for them and when they wind up in the ER the prices become astronomical. In the case of Senators Collins and Murkowski some of this seems to be about defunding Planned Parenthood based on some of the reporting I’ve seen.

    The larger issue, of course, is that the PPACA is largely modeled on the plan Governor Romney signed into law in MA. This is itself an Americanization of the Swiss model, but unlike the Swiss model the regulations aren’t as heavy and the insurers aren’t required to be not for profits. What’s fun is watching Avik Roy twist himself into knots trying to lambaste the PPACA given he was one of the primary conservatives behind the MA plan that is often referred to as RomneyCare. And because the PPACA was modeled on what Romney had done, that doesn’t leave the GOP much room to maneuver. They just don’t have anything else to replace it with that would work. Unless they swerve way to the left and go Medicare for all or Single Payer.

  147. 147
    Brachiator says:

    @hovercraft:

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday indicated that Republicans in Congress will look to repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time, diverging from Republicans’ previous plan of repealing the health care law quickly but delaying passing a replacement plan.

    What a farce. These dips had eight years to craft their Obamacare alternative.But it’s only now that they are thinking about a “replacement?”

  148. 148
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    That keeps happening to me too, and I cannot figure out what the problem is. Some comments load, some don’t.

  149. 149
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    What makes you think that’s going to happen?

  150. 150
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, electoral votes would be assigned by congressional district, so that even losing the popular vote in the state, the loser still gets electoral votes in that state. That is how Nebraska(?) N. Dakota (?) does it already. It was discussed for Maine as well. For example, if that change was made, in PA, Hillary probably won at least 5 congressional districts and so would get 5 Electoral votes there instead of zero.

    But most states do not do it that way.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: She doesn’t need confirmation. What this does do, however, should she try to plow through it, is destroy her credibility with the professionals she’ll be dealing with. The NSC is made up of uniformed personnel, all with advanced degrees including doctorates, and civilians from a variety of DOD and IC agencies and departments, almost all with advanced degrees including doctorates. Want to open your yap and be immediately ignored? This is one way to have it happen.

  152. 152

    @Brachiator: The establishment never actually wanted to do a repeal/replace, they’re the dog that caught the car.

  153. 153
    J R in WV says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I don’t like that, because Leni Riefenstahl was very talented as far as her skills in cinematography, presentation, organization, etc. She unfortunately fell into working to glorify a monster, but did a wonderful job of it.

    KellyAnne is just a fast talking liar. Calling her KellyAnne Riefenstahl exaggerates her level of talent, which properly speaking, is nil.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I know people on the left love to yell and scream about how the PPACA is just evil corporate healthcare, but those evil
    health insurance companies now have a stake in the system remaining in place, and they will throw their weight behind saving PPACA.

    That doesn’t mean they won’t lobby to fuck it up and improve their profits, but they’re not going to sit still and let Congress mess with the nice little revenue stream they already have.

  155. 155
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Pogonip:

    And you should always assume your opponent is smarter than you.

    Well, this time around her opponent definitely wasn’t “smarter” than she is. He and his party were just willing to defy any rules of decency, ethics, conscience, and possibly the law in order to win. A candidate for President of the United States secretly and then, no so secretly allying with a foreign enemy was not anything anyone ever could have imagined before 2016.

    Not sure how we’re gonna plan for every single contingency in the future when they don’t play by anyone’s rules unless we find a way to punish this behavior good and hard before the next election takes place.

  156. 156
    hovercraft says:

    @Brachiator:

    What a farce. These dips had eight years to craft their Obamacare alternative.But it’s only now that they are thinking about a “replacement?”

    As @Adam L Silverman: points out, this is basically their plan, and finding a replacement without totally upheaving our current system is almost impossible. People were up in arms over having to change their doctors and losing their shitty plans, this would be a much large disruption.

  157. 157
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to her on the radio. Don’t ask why, but I used to be a masochist.

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Not sure how we’re gonna plan for every single contingency in the future when they don’t play by anyone’s rules unless we find a way to punish this behavior good and hard before the next election takes place.

    Also, this. It’s like trying to win a football game when your opponents start openly violating the rules and the referees refuse to enforce the rules on their team while enforcing them to the letter on your team.

    And then they handcuffed our quarterback and pretended that was totally normal and if we couldn’t win with a handcuffed quarterback, she obviously sucked.

  159. 159

    @J R in WV: Well, we don’t know. Maybe Conway is a brilliant director of films.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I continue to believe that Ivanka probably married a toxic narcissist because he reminded her of dear ol’ dad. It’s just that Kushner’s voice is a little quieter.

  161. 161

    @Elizabelle: It’s hard for me to believe the Senate won’t confirm him. They work with him. He’s a sitting senator and will go back to working with them if they reject him. I think he’s covered by the Old Boys Network.

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J R in WV:

    Riefenstahl was a true believer — watch the documentary about her sometime. She barely avoided a well-deserved prison sentence for her work.

    She’s probably the purest example of someone who was a great artist in service of a despicable cause.

  163. 163
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    MULTIPLE GOP SOURCES tell us that PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP is not likely to introduce his SCOTUS nominee until Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confirmed as attorney general.

    Politico Playbook via Election Law Blog

  164. 164

    @Mnemosyne: Hugo Boss? I mean, damn, those uniforms!

  165. 165
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: See, that doesn’t fit the narrative that what The People want is unfettered progressive policies that involve crushing banksters (don’t ask how) and prosecuting the 1% (details to come). When you say that an unsexy cause like HELP FUCKING BLACK PEOPLE VOTE would give us wins, that would require more work and less grandstanding while berating us “establishment” types. It doesn’t give the smug feeling of accomplishment while secure in the knowledge that you’re not just better than conservatives, you’re also better than most liberals. And this is a very, very popular attitude. Ask me again if I think we can pull together fast enough & solid enough to win jack/shit in 2018.

  166. 166
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Believe me, I feel like I’m screaming into the wind about this most days. It’s not surprising that many white Democrats have bought into the narrative that the problem was that we didn’t listen to white people, but it is discouraging.

  167. 167
    ruemara says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Good. We can trundle along with 4-4 decisions for a while. And if he chooses to fire everyone in government until it’s just his family and the GOP, then I’m fine with America grinding to a fucking halt until his voters die off from their lack of welfare. We’ll just cover our own.

  168. 168
    🌷 Martin says:

    @sigaba: They are for some people. Trump is one of those people. Kushner may be as well.

  169. 169
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator: Pence was there to bring in the evangelicals. That’s it. Trump wouldn’t have gotten them in the same numbers if he had picked Christie as his VP. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump tries to ditch Pence if Pence tries to actually do something effective as VP, other than reading gay porn in the basement of the White House and getting carted out to fundie events.

  170. 170
    debbie says:

    @ruemara:

    For myself, none of this shit is sexy, but voting rights and voting suppression are as important to me as crushing the 1% and Wall Street. Most people, with their short attention spans, aren’t capable of thinking beyond a five-word tagline, but I think Trump may well be the catalyst to accomplishing everything you’re looking for. He will be such an abomination that people will set aside their political delusions and finally put the country above their politics and their resentments.

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    @Iowa Old Lady

    Kind of surprised, really, that the Senate Rs want to go through the effort of holding hearings (however cursory) and votes, when all they need do is vote to adjourn for a sufficient period commencing after noon on the 20th, allowing the new president to make recess appointments.

    Maybe, just maybe, there exist yet a few norms which even those benighted scoundrels won’t trample into dust.

  172. 172
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    What a farce. These dips had eight years to craft their Obamacare alternative.But it’s only now that they are thinking about a “replacement?”

    They’ve been thinking about a replacement for 8 years. But the free market solutions are the ones that we tried and which failed for a century. The only viable alternatives are adding in more government influence – public options, single payer, etc.

    They could split the difference (which I support) and go single payer for catastrophic (ala Medicare A) and generally free market for doctor (ala Medicare B) and aligning them nicely with Medicare would simplify things for everyone, but that’s still a concession that social infrastructure works. They’re too far gone for that.

    Inevitably we will end up with single payer in some form. It’s the only stable solution for catastrophic care.

  173. 173
    mai naem mobile says:

    Lumpys guys make the initial Bush people look like building contractors cutting a few corners here and there on tract housing but nothing that would affect the integrity of the housing .

  174. 174
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @ruemara: #165

    You’re scaring me because I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. I’ve been reading a preponderance of “progressives” on certain sites where nothing matters but to drill their righteous ideology 24/7.

    The sad thing is while I’ve mostly agreed with goals, I’m seeing an obsession with grinding allies who disagree into dust instead of building coalitions.

    Is there a reason that I would now welcome them into the foxhole as ally?

  175. 175
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The first time we flew international to Europe from JFK, I was amazed to see people, evidently returning home from the US, wearing the most detailed ethnic costumes, like what you would see at a museum. Layer upon layer of detailed, required by orthodoxy of one nationality of another.

    Round hat with dangling balls perfectly evenly spaced around the flat brim, as clean as any ritual garment could be that’s passing through the international terminal at JFK. Hair and all groomed perfectly, boots and pants, vest and shirt, I tried to look up the details later but nothing came of it.

    I was too polite to take a picture, even just with a cell phone. But I know I have seen the whole concept documented somewhere. So your labeled photo pulled up that memory instantly.

  176. 176
    hovercraft says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    Regardless of what he has said and or done he will be confirmed. these are some of the headlines from the GOS, from what I can tell, they give a paint a pretty accurate picture of how it’s going so far.

    One way or the other, Jeff Sessions is a liar about having called the NAACP ‘un-American’

    Florida Democrats
    ‎@FlaDems

    Jeff Sessions, today: “I never declared that the N.A.A.C.P. was ‘un-American.”

    Jeff Sessions, 1986:

    11:24 AM – 10 Jan 2017

    He admitted to having said it, and that helped torpedo his ambition to become a federal judge. Now, with his ambition to become attorney general on the line, he denies it. Seriously, we’re supposed to believe this? It would be more reasonable to say he’s disqualified for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee than to say he’s acquitted of racism by this.

    Confirmation hearing or Republican tongue bath of Jeff Sessions? You decide

    Of course Sessions confirmation hearing turns into an attack on Hillary Clinton

  177. 177
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    https://www.whitehousehistory.org/the-press-was-not-impressed

    The Press Was Not Impressed
    president nixon’s stylish security uniforms

    The appearance of military uniforms on White House staff has seemed too threatening to please the public so except during wartime they are avoided in favor of less fanciful dress, usually either copied from a metropolitan police force or the even simpler uniforms of the Secret Service. From time to time the need has been seen at the White House for distinctive uniforms that simply say “White House” and relate to nothing else. Through the years the embassies had such uniforms, and officials admired the custom in Europe.

    Theodore Roosevelt had trouble gaining acceptance for original uniforms. More than half a century later President Richard M. Nixon faced the same objections when he had uniforms designed for White House security. Teased in the press for adopting the costumes of a “banana republic,” the president finally gave up and recalled the uniforms, which were presented for use to the marching band of a local high school.

    Pics at the link above.

    Also here:
    http://www.invisiblethemepark......-nixon.jpg
    https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6204/6133321818_3b5b883f5e.jpg

  178. 178
    hovercraft says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    MULTIPLE GOP SOURCES tell us that PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP is not likely to introduce his SCOTUS nominee until Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confirmed as attorney general.

    In that case I say never ever confirm him, so simple, right? ;-)

  179. 179

    @Adam L Silverman: See, Hugo Boss was so much better. He’s inspired generations of evil sci-fi uniforms.

  180. 180
    NotMax says:

    @Martin

    Pish and tosh. It was pure political theater, nothing more and nothing less. They realized full well there was no necessity to think about nor craft anything resembling a replacement because, had any repeal passed both chambers, Obama would veto it at light speed.

  181. 181
    debbie says:

    @ed_finnerty:

    I was thinking Bagdhad KellyBob. “Those are not airplanes you are hearing.”

  182. 182
    hovercraft says:

    @Calouste:
    Pence is dumb, I mean Perry dumb.

  183. 183
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Mentioned previously – the pictures of uniforms initially proposed for enforcement officers in the then newly created Dept. of Homeland Security were straight out of the SS. Black, included a lightning insignia.

  184. 184
    chopper says:

    Kushner indispensable bc 1 of family must always be w him to keep track of what happens bc DJT can’t remember

    i dunno if it’s as much his mind starting to go as much as it’s just his many decades of unmanaged NPD. he’s likely to make some really horrible decisions without a trusted family member there to ‘manage’ him. could be both, what a bonus.

  185. 185
    sam says:

    @sigaba: well, one thing he definitely wanted was to exact petty revenge on Chris Christie, since Christie was the one who prosecuted his father.

    I have to admit, even though I despise the lot of them, getting a small chuckle at watching Christie, who has spent his entire career bullying and belittling others, getting hoisted by his own petard. He was a lot of things, but he was not dumb. I just do not know how he thought he was ever going to get a position in a trump administration when Kushner was clearly trump’s favorite person in the world.

  186. 186
    Taylor says:

    @Adam L Silverman: IMO this is grounds for not only having the PhD degree revoked, but also having the advisor fired. Ultimately it is the advisor’s job to verify the authenticity and originality of the research.

    Am I to understand that this degree is not from PhDs’r’US, but Columbia University? The university administration, all the way up to the president, is going to be all over this. They will want the department to come down hard on this, to save the reputation of the university.

    OTOH given that the state of journalism in this country, if this was in the journalism department, maybe they just don’t give a damn.

  187. 187
    Brachiator says:

    @J R in WV:

    I don’t like that, because Leni Riefenstahl was very talented as far as her skills in cinematography, presentation, organization, etc. She unfortunately fell into working to glorify a monster, but did a wonderful job of it.

    Riefenstahl didn’t simply “fall into” working to glorify a monster. She happily, eagerly dove into her work. She should have been hanged for crimes against humanity.

    KellyAnne is just a fast talking liar. Calling her KellyAnne Riefenstahl exaggerates her level of talent, which properly speaking, is nil.

    To the contrary, she is the first woman political strategist to get her candidate elected president. And, like Riefenstahl, she is using her talents to glorify and to enable a monster.

  188. 188
    Gravenstone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Jared Kushner is a Kapo. As SenyorDave says above, all of them should be pushed in to a fire to die.

    A suggestion. That particular combination of imagery is somewhat … troubling.

  189. 189
    hovercraft says:

    @sam:
    Second favorite, Lucretia is the bestest most beautiful ever, after the shitgibbon itself of course, so that bumps Jared to third.

  190. 190

    @Gravenstone: Even more so than Villago’s occasional ‘exterminate the bankers/media’ remarks.

  191. 191
    The Lodger says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Peance? Is that a fraudulent gathering where people claim to get messages from the dead?

  192. 192
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NotMax: And even Peggy Noonan noticed that the name “Homeland Security” is vaguely…Teutonic.

  193. 193
    LAC says:

    @ruemara: girl, thank you! Who is patting themselves on the back, or has any insight as to what is or isn’t being done by democrats?

  194. 194
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Ok, gonna try and squeeze this set of thots in fast because the last two lengthy posts I made on the subject were banished to the depths of deep space or something.

    The main reason Trump’s daughter and son-in-law will remain close to him after he is President is because he is clearly suffering from some form of cognitive impairment, such as early onset Alzheimers or some other neurological disorder/dementia that is slowly taking away his independence and his emotional control.

    Because it’s early, he’s still mostly in charge of himself and his underlying personality and intelligence remain present, but Ivanka and Hubby know that he’s not safe from being exploited or outright conned into saying and doing things they know will get him into great trouble. I’m willing to bet that this whole idea of running for President was a bit of a shock to all of them, but that he is still in control and volatile enough that they thought it best to humor him, remain close and try and protect him until the whole thing panned out and they could go back to the safety of running Trumpco.

    Unfortunately, he got elected. Not only that, but he met some new friends who are not good people who realized that he’s incredibly easy to manipulate for their own purposes because of two things: his past borderline criminal business activity which could be revealed and ruin him, and his incredibly gigantic ego. Manfort, Bannon, Flynn, Conway–they all know where their bread is buttered and they are not gonna just go away.

    Ivanka is the “good daughter” in that she’s gonna try and stay by his side to intervene and protect him as much as possible from the Cartel. Jarod is there because she needs Hubby-boy by her side to keep on doing it. She may have some issues, but she is and always has been a loyal child to her father, always trying to soften his ugliness to the public. Ergo, they are doing everything they can to stay as close to Trump’s inner circle as they can to keep him safe, and therefore, the Trump empire intact.

    The Trump sons, on the other hand, are just out there partying like frat boyz and trying to cheat people out of charity money and scheduling their next Big Game Hunt to Africa. Cuz they inherited a full blown version of their father’s narcissistic personality disorder.

  195. 195
    Brachiator says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The establishment never actually wanted to do a repeal/replace, they’re the dog that caught the car.

    What they wanted doesn’t matter as much anymore. Before the ACA was enacted, the GOP could bloviate about the free market and Obama’s push for unAmerican sozialized medicine. When they passed legislation each year to repeal Obamacare, legislation that they knew would be vetoed, they were just scoring cheap political points.

    But now they are stuck. People are not just concerned about some exotic thing called Obamacare that’s floating around out in the ether. They want to know what will happen with their health insurance coverage. They don’t want to lose their health care coverage. They don’t want Congress to take their health care coverage away. Some of them honestly believe that Trump will repeal evil bad Obamacare and replace it with something new and better and shiny.

    Some Republican dopes believe that they can magically restore some free market status quo, and then whatever happens happens. Even if some people end up with no coverage or worse coverage. If they can figure out how to blame Obama for their failure, they are home free.

  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Taylor: Columbia will do what it does. It will depend on how the pressure comes down. There will certainly be professional peer pressure on the political science faculty to dig into this and to withdraw the degree. But universities and colleges are now businesses more than they are schools and the people that run the university may decide that its better to do nothing or to look like they’ve done something while doing nothing so as not to upset the incoming President.

  197. 197
    waysel says:

    @sigaba: Power and money are ends in themselves to some. Especially to the already rich and powerful. Remember Kissengers ” ultimate aphrodisiac” quote ? These people aren’t like us. They’re completely crazy. And don’t forget dick swinging, macho, lord it over your pals/competitors ego stoking.

  198. 198

    @Adam L Silverman: Plus then they’ll end up on those not-at-all-creepy lists of evil liberal professors.

  199. 199
    Xenos says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I live in a country that followed the Swiss model 25 years ago. Nothing for-profit except the doctors theselves, who have a union and negotiate their fees each year. Medical costs are about 15% of what prevails in the states.

    The US could have this, if they wanted it enough so as to make it happen.

  200. 200
    waysel says:

    @Pogonip: Must be nice to be smarter than every other human.

  201. 201
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I freed your earlier comments.

  202. 202

    @waysel: If only they’d lend their expertise to the Democratic party, maybe then we could win!

  203. 203
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Xenos: We really can’t. The idea of a tightly regulated, not for profit private insurance companies that have a guaranteed customer base because its required/mandated, with the care delivery side being for profit, but also tightly regulated will never fly in the US. No matter how much it would make sense as policy. No matter that people in the industries effected would still be able to make decent livings/profits, it would immediately be labeled socialism.

  204. 204
    Taylor says:

    @Adam L Silverman: We’ll see. This is not the same as admitting an underqualified student because Daddy wrote a Big Check.

  205. 205
    ruemara says:

    @pamelabrown53: None by me. I see too many occupying the podium with an agenda to destroy Democrats. They do not give a flying fuck about women, lgbtq rights or POC rights and they’re usually nestled safely in blue states. As if that’s going to save them. And to make things worse, even when you point out that CALExit is the same Russian orchestrated plot that Brexit was and that Sanders had as many strange ties to Russia as Trump in his staff, they go deaf. I do not know if we have a year to waste with these nimrods caping for Sanders & his higher level surrogates like Ellison & Giffords. It’s not fucking about them and if you have to destroy the Democratic Party and all the networks that made that party survive since the 60’s, then how the fuck are you gonna win shit at the national level? Idiots.

    @debbie: You’re rather chipper in your assessment. I reserve my judgement until I start seeing something moving to that direction.

  206. 206
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Ok, gonna try and squeeze this set of thots in fast because the last two lengthy posts I made on the subject were banished to the depths of deep space or something.

    I have learned through bitter experience (when I remember, anyhow) that if I’m doing a comment any more complicated than a few throwaway words, I either compose it in a document and copy it into the reply box, or type it in the reply box, then select and copy the whole thing in case it goes missing as soon as I hit the “post comment” button.

    As I say, “when I remember.” It’s a learned habit but can save a fair amount of frustration.

  207. 207
    Brachiator says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    The main reason Trump’s daughter and son-in-law will remain close to him after he is President is because he is clearly suffering from some form of cognitive impairment, such as early onset Alzheimers or some other neurological disorder/dementia that is slowly taking away his independence and his emotional control.

    Unless you have some proof of this not available to anyone else, I will consign this speculation to the same trash heap where Trump found Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate.

  208. 208
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the people that run the university may decide that its better to do nothing or to look like they’ve done something while doing nothing so as not to upset the incoming President.

    They will devalue the Columbia degree if they do that, and will rue the day they acted so cowardly. Would bet they might lose some alumni financial support too.

  209. 209
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I agree with your assessment.

  210. 210
    Elizabelle says:

    @Brachiator: It’s not far fetched at all, Brachiator. You’re just being contrarian.

    The signs are there, if you are looking for them.

  211. 211

    @ruemara:

    I do not know if we have a year to waste with these nimrods caping for Sanders & his higher level surrogates like Ellison & Giffords.

    I presume you meant Gabbard. And Ellison isn’t exactly the anti-establishment choice here, having been endorsed by the outgoing and incoming Senate leaders; the Berniecrats just seem to have convinced themselves that he is.

  212. 212
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Taylor: @Elizabelle: The people that run universities these days are interesting individuals. They are concerned with money, not education. Is it possible that they’ll do the right thing? Sure. How probable is it? I do not know.

  213. 213
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They will devalue the Columbia degree if they do that, and will rue the day they acted so cowardly. Would bet they might lose some alumni financial support too.

    Barack Obama is a Columbia alumnus.

    (Columnus?)

  214. 214
    The Lodger says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Or, you can do what I do and limit your comments to a few throwaway words.

  215. 215
    Ang says:

    @Spanky:
    Conversely, I wonder if Elektra cheats on Jared with Daddy.

  216. 216
    Xenos says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Has anyone ever polled the public as to whether they would support such a system?

    The problem is not that it would be labeled “sockialism” but that the desires of the public do not count for much in any case. In short, the US is not a democratic Republic. And if the American people are not willing to fight for democracy, they will never have one.

    And by “fight” I am not being figurative.

  217. 217
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s not far fetched at all, Brachiator. You’re just being contrarian.

    I have a long history of dismissing Internet diagnoses and similar exercises. I understand why people want to indulge in it. It is at best meaningless. But at worst it is on the same level as any evidence free conspiracy level drivel.

  218. 218
    chopper says:

    @Brachiator:

    chances are better than even that trump’s deliberately gonna stiff the exchanges on the payment that covers the subsidies at the end of the month, leading to a catabolic collapse of the exchanges and fucking Ocare over bigly. which means the GOP needs a replacement or the whole insurance industry starts unwinding.

  219. 219

    @Xenos: “Medicare-for-all” polls well. Until you describe it as something else, like socialized medicine.

  220. 220

    @chopper:

    chances are better than even that trump’s deliberately gonna stiff the exchanges on the payment that covers the subsidies at the end of the month

    I’ll take that bet. I accept bitcoin and dogecoin.

  221. 221
    PJ says:

    @Calouste: Pence has to make sure that Trump is impeached or dies before the 2020 election. Trump may have promised him the moon in terms of piloting the ship, but Pence seems like a shrewd-enough MF to see through the BS and realize what he was really being offered.

  222. 222
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Xenos: I’m pretty sure there was polling done on Medicaire for all, a Public Option, and Single Payer. Not sure anyone was polled on the Swiss system largely because no one over here knows what that is or that the PPACA is a tweaked/watered down variant of it. Unfortunately, most Americans, as in almost all of them, don’t get out much – figuratively and literally.

  223. 223
    BItter Scribe says:

    Oh for the good old days when the Waldorf was owned by Conrad Hilton.

  224. 224
    sam says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I 1000% agree with all of this.

  225. 225
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m pretty sure there was polling done on Medicaire for all, a Public Option, and Single Payer. Not sure anyone was polled on the Swiss system largely because no one over here knows what that is or that the PPACA is a tweaked/watered down variant of it. Unfortunately, most Americans, as in almost all of them, don’t get out much – figuratively and literally.

    Sadly, the discussion about health care, even among liberal partisans, never much rises above the level of “single payer” is good, with visions of some mashup of the Canadian and French health care systems, with a little British NHS on the side.

  226. 226
    Gravenstone says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Is Sessions willing to undergo the trifecta of being rejected for the Federal bench, Attorney General (should saner heads prevail and his candidacy meet the inglorious end it deserves) and Supreme Court justice?

  227. 227
    HeleninEire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah way late to the thread but LO fucking L.

  228. 228
    ruckus says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    Why would he run, he’s able, in 10 days, to effectively be the president.

  229. 229
    Captain C says:

    @Adam L Silverman: One of the writers on LGM refers to NYU as a ‘real estate hedge fund disguised as a university.’ I would imagine that this description fits a lot of colleges these days.

  230. 230
    catclub says:

    @chopper: I will be impressed if the repeal of the hated taxes that support the ACA is postponed.
    The GOP really really wanted that.

  231. 231
    catclub says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, I bet Trump could not figure how to get that stiffing of the exchanges done, and the HHS bureaucracy will generate those payments automatically.

  232. 232
    KS in MA says:

    @Raven Onthill: I hope someone sends that to Eric Schneiderman…

  233. 233
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I actually agree with both of you, and should have been more clear about Leni Riefenstahl’s work for the Nazis. Thanks for making the point better than I did.

    The fact that she was talented beyond anyone else doing political film at the time remains, and KellyAnne is not talented at anything but a gish gallop of lies. Vomiting a series of lies better than anyone has seen before is not a talent.

  234. 234
    Marjowil says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I think your posts are right on the money. Even as recently as the pussy tape, trump sounded more coherent than he does now. He is losing it.

Comments are closed.